Kasur: Christian wins religious discrimination case against Education Department

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Pakistani Christian Naeem Nazir wins a court case against Education Department. Naeem a 20-year-old Christian applied for a post of an office assistant at a school in 2010; but was appointed as a sweeper instead because of his faith. A case was filed against the illegal appointment, after a six years’ battle the case was finally decided in Naeem’s favor.

Religious discrimination in Pakistan

Naeem applied for a post in March 2010, and was interviewed for the job the same year. Soon after the interview, he received an appointment letter from the Education Department and was informed that he was appointed as a sanitary worker.

Also Read: Christians in Peshawar protest against the blasphemous post

Shortly, Naeem contacted the Education Department and complained that he did not apply for a sanitary worker’s post. Naeem said that he was told to remain silent; consequently, he contacted the District Coordination Officer (DCO). Subsequently, DCO directed the Education Department to immediately appoint Naeem as an office assistant. Nonetheless, the Education Department did not pay heed to the DCO’s order.

Having nowhere to go, Naeem approached the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), in November 2010. A petition was filed in the Lahore High Court against the Department of Education. It was maintained that this was a violations of articles 4 and 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan, therefore challenging the illegal appointment. The case was pending since six years, while the court finally decided in favor of Naeem Nazir.

During the case hearing on October 26, 2016, officials from the Education Department appeared before the court. The Judge hearing this case, Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan asked the EDO, Zulfiqar Ali, about the number of seats available for religious minorities. Zulfiqar Ali informed that there were twenty vacancies reserved for the religious minorities. Justice Muhammad Qasim inquired that how many seats were offered to Christians. EDO replied that Christians were only appointed as sanitary workers.

Justice Muhammad Qasim directed the EDO to immediately cancel Naeem’s appointment as a sanitary worker, EDO requested the court for some time in order to make arrangements for Naeem’s new appointment as office assistant. On October 28, the Education Department issued a new appointment letter to Naeem.